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Sunday, October 20, 2013
'Hunch' pays off with Gomes again

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON -- Even before he was told, Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava knew manager John Farrell would go with Jonny Gomes in left field for Game 6 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers Saturday night at Fenway Park.

Despite the Red Sox facing right-hander Max Scherzer, Farrell wanted Gomes in the lineup because, as the manager described it prior to the game: “We have a different feel, a different personality on the field when Jonny’s in the lineup. Call it a hunch, call it whatever you might, but that’s what it boils down to.”

It wasn’t about how well Nava hit right-handed pitching all season. Gomes has found a way to make things happen every game he’s played for the Red Sox. The Sox were 4-0 in the games he started in the ALCS and 0-2 in games he didn’t start.

With the Sox trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, Gomes led off with a double off the top of the Monster that barely missed being a home run, and later scored on Shane Victorino’s grand slam.

After Boston’s 5-2 win and trip to the World Series, Gomes and Nava were celebrating with their teammates in the clubhouse.

“I was talking to Jonny before the game and we both echoed the same thing: We don’t care if we’re in the lineup or not in the lineup. People are making a big deal about it, but all we want is a chance to win the ring,” Nava said. “That’s why you sign to play in Boston. For me to be a part of this, it’s a huge blessing to be a part of this.”